FBN vs. Imus?
Today’s TVNewser piece on Don Imus’ FBN ratings is interesting. It’s negative of course since Imus’ ratings haven’t been so hot. But it has the characteristics of a network leak. Yes, I know…I’ve called out “leak” before and been wrong. But what makes this article special and sets off my leak alarm is the ratings period sampled…
Since May, (5/5/11 – 11/25/11) when Connell McShane took over for Charles McCord, the show has seen an -18% drop in A25-54 viewers. And despite crowing about an occasional win against “Squawk Box”, Imus has not logged a win in the 6-9am block this year, in either Total Viewers or the demo.
Why sample the ratings since when McCord left? The likelihood that TVN would go to someone and ask for FBN’s Imus ratings since the time McCord left seems rather unlikely bordering on the implausible. Ergo, it is more likely that this ratings data was leaked.
Where things get interesting is when we turn to speculating over who did the leak. The obvious candidates are CNBC and FBN. The idea that CNBC would be interested in torpedoing Imus with a ratings shot is I suppose plausible, though why would they want to go to the effort? But FBN? That’s a different story.
After what happened between Neil Cavuto and Imus where Imus yells at his viewers for not watching and then Cavuto comes on and basically tells him on the air that his show sucks and the ratings reflect it, a negative leak from FBN could be viewed as the coup de grace.
If it was indeed FBN that leaked it, I imagine it’s now open warfare time between the network and its morning host.
It’s tough luck for McShane though as he winds up getting caught in the crossfire since the ratings leak sampled the time he took over for McCord.